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Laois horse owner pledges winnings from Wexford win to ‘Do It For Dan’

The owner of a horse that was victorious in Wexford on St Patrick’s Day has pledged a portion of his winnings to the ‘Do It For Dan’ campaign.

Song Of Earth galloped to glory in the ISF EBF Auction (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race yesterday and he is owned by Portarlington native Kieran ‘Shaggy’ Leavy.

The 14/1 shot led from start to finish in the 2-mile race and held off the challenge South Terrace to win and scoop the €8,850 first prize.

Wearing the Portarlington colours, this was just a second ever race for Song Of Earth who Bred at Borris House in Carlow.

He is trained by Mags Mullins and was ridden by Richie Deegan.

And owner Kieran Leavy has donated €1,000 of his winnings straight to the ‘Do It For Dan’ campaign.

Kieran said: “I will be pledging €1,000 of my winnings to Do It For Dan.

“And I would urge everyone to please give a little if possible. It really is for a great cause.”

A massive fundraiser was launched for baby Dan Donoher on March 5, son of Niall and Aisling Donoher from Ballybrittas, who has been diagnosed with a rare life-threatening disease.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the little boy with a genetic neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 and Scoliosis.

A breakthrough treatment is available in the USA and to meet the cost, a target of €2million has been set.

The reaction to the fundraiser has been huge with €345,000 raised so far from more than 10,100 different people.

People are not just raising money but awareness too as people are sharing the GoFundMe page on multiple social media platforms.

Dan’s parents Niall and Aisling (Nee Quigley) are very well known in the Laois GAA community.

Niall represented Laois footballers at all levels until his retirement at the end of the 2018 season while Aisling, originally from Timahoe, played for the Laois ladies team for a long number of years too. The couple live in Jamestown, on the old main Dublin Road near Ballybrittas.

Dan was diagnosed with this disease last December at the age of 8 months.

The life expectancy of an SMA type 1 child is 18-24 months.

A ground breaking treatment called Zolgensma is currently only available in USA and costs 2.1 million dollars for a once off infusion.

Studies show that Zolgensma can substantially improve quality of life and survival of this horrific disease.

This treatment is only available to children under the age of two and who meet the requirements.

Dan currently qualifies but “we are against the clock” his parents explain.

About one in every 11,000 children are diagnosed with SMA. It had been incurable, but with this wonder drug on the market it offers Dan a chance at improved or even a normal life.

SEE ALSO – Laois supermarket goes viral with St Patrick’s Day parade in store

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.